Rural Missouri feels effects of Wall Street
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Rural Missouri feels effects of Wall Street

Date: October 23, 2008
By: Abby Grimmett
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: The theme of the moment is wall street's effect on main street and some Missouri towns are feeling the economy's strain.

Abigail Grimmett (GRIMM-it) has more from the state Capitol.

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Thousands of miles away from Wall Street, Buffalo, a city in Southwest Missouri with a population of less than 3,000, is beginning to see a major downfall in its economy.  485 people are now without jobs after a large-scale poultry production facility had to shut its doors on October 3.
Mayor Jerry Hardesty said Tyson Foods, Inc. had to end its contract with poultry producer company Petit Jean due to rising food and fuel costs.
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Description: They run about 90 trucks a week out of Buffalo at $500 run, which adds up to $90,000 a week and $360,000 thousand a month. They're going to save that in fuel costs.

 Mayor Hardesty says the plant is currently searching to find another company to contract the facility.
Frank Sanderson, the Plant Manager, said he gets calls from former employees on a daily basis wondering if the plant will ever reopen.
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Description: The biggest struggle I've had is seeing the wonderful work force that I had that we've been blessed with in Dallas county, go without jobs and how its effected their families. They're an extension of my family and it's like a family member going through it, so that's the hardest thing for me to cope with.
 
     Sanderson said many of the workers who lost their job are seeking higher education and jobs outside of Buffalo.

Hardesty said the Chamber of Commerce has plans for a job fair next month.

The fair will bring in businesses from around the county and Hardesty said he hopes this will help the unemployed citizens of Buffalo find jobs. 

 
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Description: You know, we're grasping at straws. We're trying to find something to help these people make it through these hard times, especially with all the additional stress going on.
Hardesty said Buffalo has survived difficult times in the past, and will find ways to make it through this failing period.
 
North of Buffalo in central Missouri, the town Hartsburg population 108, is experiencing a better situation. 
 
Hartsburg is located along the Katy Trail and the Missouri River, bringing in tourists to the local businesses.
More than 30,000 were in the town on October 11 for its annual Pumpkin festival and Mayor Nancy Grant said it was the most successful festival to date.
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Description: People had their wallets out and they were buying. I can't explain it on why the majority of the vendors were doing so well and the population of attendees was bigger than ever. They even waited in line an hour and a half to come to Hartsburg.

 
 While Buffalo is preparing for its job fair, Mayor Grant is working on maintaining the businesses that are still surviving.
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Description: We the businesses here in Hartsburg as well as the community, the people of Hartsburg, need to develop sustainable economic development - businesses that can stay alive, in difficult times as well as thriving times.

 Grant says the remaining businesses of Hartsburg may see hard times in the future, but business owners are optimistic.

Dotty Manns, owner of Dotty's Cafe in Hartsburg said business has been slow, but will continue to stay open as long as possible.

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Description: I don't know what's going to happen to the economy, but really, I'm not worried about it. I'm concerned that the groceries are getting so high that I would have to change my menu, but really, I'm not going to worry about it. I think God will take care of us.


Dotty said the winter season slows business even more and she will save money this year by closing the restaurant during the week.

Although the general mood is optimistic in Hartsburg, a bicycle shop recently closed.

The biggest impact of the closure is felt by the cyclists on the Katy Trail, according to a Hartsburg bed and breakfast owner.

Both city mayors say they anticipate more problems in the future due to the poor state of the economy, but will continue to do what they can to ensure their communities survive.

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Abigail Grimmett.


Intro: Although the recent crashes on Wall Street are having a negative impact throughout the US, a rural Missouri town is looking at the glass as half full. 

Abigail Grimmett (GRIMM-it) has more from Jefferson City.

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 Hartsburg, a town of a little over one hundred people, is located along the Missouri River and Katy Trail and thrives on tourism. However, the wet summer and high fuel prices put a damper on business. Jeanette Crawford, owner of the Globe Hotel says she hasn't had as many customers coming off the Katy Trail as she's had in the past.
 
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Description: I don't know what the financial situation will be next year, but whatever happens it'll be good. If I don't have guests I can do gardening. My grass stays mowed, the weeds stay pulled. So, whatever happens is good.
Mayor Nancy Grant said the only business that closed in the past couple of months was a bike shop, which Crawford says primarly impacted the cyclists on the trail. Crawford said she is looking forward to the Winter season where she will close in order to prepare for guests in the Spring. Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Abigail Grimmett.

Intro: Business is slow in a central Missouri town, but business owners aren't worried.

Abigail Grimmett (GRIMM-IT) has more from Jefferson City.

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Dotty's Cafe, a small restaurant located in the heart of Hartsburg, Missouri, population 108, only had a few customers during the noon hour. The owner of the cafe, Dotty Mann said business has been slow over the past couple of months. Mann said she is concerned about the rising prices of food which has caused her to increase menu prices, but she is not worried about the future of her restaurant.
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Description: The world changes everyday, and so I'm no authority on any thing big, but I know I'm not staying awake nights over it. I plan to keep the restaurant as long as I can run it and if something happens I'll deal with that at the time.

Mann said many of the customers are from surrounding towns in Jefferson City, Columbia and Ashland, which makes high fuel prices another factor in declining business.
Mayor Nancy Grant said only one business has closed in the past few months and the remaining businesses in Hartsburg are doing what they can in order to survive. Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Abigail Grimmett.

Intro: A small southwest Missouri town is experiencing the effects of the recent Wall Street crisis.

Abigail Grimmett (GRIMM-it) has more from Jefferson City.

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OutCue: SOC Buffalo, Missouri a town of less than 3,000 just saw one of its primary industries close.
Petit Jean, a poultry production facility was forced to shut its doors after Tyson Foods, Inc. pulled its contract.485 people are now without jobs. Mayor Jerry Hardesty said the town is struggling to find jobs for the unemployed, and coming up with the $182,000 Petit Jean contributed to a water and sewer treatment bond.
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Description: That's just on our water and sewer, that's not saying anything about the tax revenue thats going to be lost, the people that are going to be moving out of the community, the housing and everything else. So, it hit us pretty hard.

Hardesty said the town is organizing a job fair to bring in businesses from around the county to help the unemployed citizens find jobs.
Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Abigail Grimmett.

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